Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday told lawmakers that the only way to tackle the rising prices of diesel and cooking gas is to increase the production of crude oil in the country by tackling vandalisation of oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
Kyari stated this while addressing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) headed by Hon. Abdullahi Gaya, over the rising cost of the products.
Kyari lamented acts of vandalism of oil installations, which he said was responsible for the decline in production, recalling that “just three days ago there was a massive attack on one of our facilities and 27, 000 barrels were lost overnight.”
He also attributed the problem to the dysfunctional refineries in the country, adding that besides the fact that the Russia- Ukraine war was affecting supply of products across the world, most major oil companies were also shutting down due to the energy transition to eliminate fossil fuel.
He also listed the unavailability of foreign exchange (FX) as a result of inadequate exports as another reason for the problem.
He said interventions were in place to ensure production improves in July to address some of the FX challenges, just as he cautioned against suggestions that subsidy should be made available for diesel.
“In our country, we do not produce AGO (diesel) and we regret that our refineries are not working. Are we doing anything about it? Yes. We are working on getting them back to work.
But they will not come back tomorrow. “As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery.
The reason is simple. We do not want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turn around maintenance because we are concerned. “Today when you buy gasoline or AGO you must pay for it.
The traders don’t care. The only way you can pay for it today in the market is that you must have USD to pay.